Regional Landcare Facilitator
With 80% of the Northern and Yorke (NY) region under agricultural management, the region makes a significant contribution to South Australia’s economy and capacity to grow into the future. With a growing awareness in holistic natural resources management (NRM), the region’s primary producers are actively seeking innovative and best-practice knowledge and skills to ensure both sustainability and productivity in their industry. The most effective mechanism to deliver this information and expertise to farmers is through their peer community of growers and land care groups, farm advisors and through practical demonstration.
The key objective of this project is to influence, support and challenge key groups, farmers and advisors in adopting a proactive and innovative approach to improving farm and resource management practices.
To achieve this, the Regional Landcare Facilitator, along with Greening Australia, farm advisors and university and government researchers, will work with the key grower groups active in the region to develop strategies and programs that will improve plant soil cover, soil condition and on farm. This will include increasing production and resource management skills and knowledge of 680 farmers and farm advisors to deliver outcomes over 385,000 hectares. Strategies will be developed to engage key farmers and farm advisors directly in project activities, to increase ownership and improve adoption rates.
Sustainable agriculture is a key component of the NY NRM Plan. Natural Resources NY, Ag Excellence Alliance and the region’s nine key sustainable grower groups have worked collaboratively to deliver outcomes against the plan for the past 10 years. The region’s land managers are well served by grower groups and farm advisors, and extensive networks have developed that seek to take advantage of emerging technologies and practices.
The key emerging issues for the region include:
- increased levels of burning and stubble reduction in no-till cropping, to counter increased pest and weed problems, resulting in the loss of protection for soils
- a shortage of skilled livestock and grazing advisors, leading to poor summer to winter grazing practices, and the loss of soil cover
- increasing occurrence of soil acidity and a low understanding of the losses from poorly managed acidic soils and/or knowledge of techniques to prevent increased soil acidity at depth in the soil profile
- larger property sizes, which have resulted in a push for operational efficiency and block farming or monocultures, rather than farming to soil type and seeking plant diversity in crops and pastures.
This project will deliver tangible outcomes for soil cover, soil condition and on farm biodiversity by building the production and resource management skills and knowledge of 680 farmers and farm advisor and improve sustainability across 385,000 ha.
- Commonwealth Caring for our Country – Sustainable Agriculture Stream